La Révolution Moderne – Expo ’67 and the Spatialization of National Identity in Québec

For the few people who’ve asked to read it, my finished thesis is available as a .pdf. I can also make a printed version available for those who are interested. I’ll also be presenting a portion of the work at the Mid-Atlantic and New England Council for Canadian Studies conference in Providence, RI from Sept 30 – Oct 3rd.

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3 thoughts on “La Révolution Moderne – Expo ’67 and the Spatialization of National Identity in Québec

  1. Just wanted to say that your thesis reminds me of a lot of the topics we learned in French class in Toronto – including taped recordings of Gilles Vigneault’s Mon Pays (and all his other songs in a nightmarish unending playback loop). Have you ever read Quebec novels? Mordecai Richler is hilarious! And Gabrielle Roy in her depressing way is really good as well.

  2. Great thesis. It’s very interesting how you’ve concretized the classic theories of Soja and Lefebvre in the realm of Montreal spatial identity. The notion of the Expo’s modernist architecture being made contextual in regards to a modernizing Quebecois urban society is quite insightful. Your spatialization of Quebecois identity in the urban realm is, as you’ve mentioned, dependent on nationalist sentiments…and that this spatiality is no more real than others…but how would you asses the impact of this dominant French spatiality on the urban identity of minority populations? I ask this because, living in Canada, I’m weary of the impacts a notion of “nation” (either Anglo or Francophone) can have in producing exclusionary spatial geographies (example being Vancouver and Chinatown or Halifax and Africville). Yes, French Quebec has elements such as language and history that make it nation-like, but I don’t feel as though it’s more a nation than the First Nations that inhabit the same space. Any form of nationalism in Canada’s various regions is complicated by the fact that we’ve always been a pluralistic, multicultural society. Being from Vancouver, and witnessing spatialities of urban identity, it appears that the plurality and fragmentation of postmodern theory is the best way to make sense of it all.

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